The night watch rouses the party early the next morning. There's a lot to do. While some work to get the piles of supplies under better cover, the rest of the group and the unburdened mules head out with Strom and Grendor. The intent: to escort the pair at least as far as the river that crosses the Wood Walk. Some party members are still suspicious, some are simply cautious. With the mules unburdened, the group makes better time, limited only by stubby dwarf legs. The weather has cleared up, but it's still a muddy mess on the road.
It's still early when the party reaches the river. The bridge, a shaky timber span, is nearly submerged by the swollen brown river, several downed trees and broken branches have piled up against the span. "That ain't good," mutters Strom.
"I guess we're wading. I hope that doesn't rise any more, otherwise we're going to have a hard time getting back across," says Grendor.
"Good luck," says Rawon. "We'll send someone here each day until you get back."
The pair makes it across the span without incident, though they are soaked through by the time they're across. Rawon and the others watch them until they disappear into the swampy woods beyond the river. Those remaining water the mules and hang out for half the day, but since the trip to Hustwood is pretty long, they're not expecting the others back until late tomorrow [or at least they shouldn't be if they looked at the map]. They return to base camp at dusk without incident.
[Oct 8] After a quiet night, the group takes the mules down to the river again. It's a pleasant day, so the ground is a bit drier, but only a bit. The river, unfortunately, is still up, and more debris has accumulated along the upstream side. It's going to be nasty getting back across. The group waits around all day, and just as they're getting ready to pack up and head back to base camp, the pair appears on the far side of the bridge, and Strom's shout gets the group's attention.
The group hitches one end of a rope to a mule, and tosses the other across. Strom ties himself off and starts across the treacherous bridge. He slips and slides a few times, but makes it across without incident. Grendor does the same, though he is almost knocked off his feet by a passing log. Soaking wet and footsore, the pair heads back to camp with the rest of the group, conveying the events in town as they go. [over to Strom & Grendor]
[Oct 9] The night passes quietly, and the next morning is cooler and windier. The group loads up all their gear, and sets out along the old trail, once again moving at a loaded mule's pace. As they travel the skies cloud over. Rain showers start just before noon, sporadically soaking the party all afternoon. It is near dinner time when they reach the stream crossing [Hex 41,49], and find the way forward impassible. The stream is well out of its banks, the ford flooded and impassible. "Have I mentioned I hate rain?" asks Durego.
Grendor reports on the trip to Hustwood: "Not much to tell about the delivery. It went smoothly. Alderman Leatherfoot seemed in control of his grief. Alas, his poor wife is still distraught. But Locky's goods were delivered and that's that. We got a decent dry night's sleep in the militia bunkhouse and some hot stew for our troubles. The guard told us that old bridge washes out one year out of three and that Lord Thambar usually has a repair crew fix it up in spring. I'm betting it'll be down by the time we return."
The stream is at least five or six feet deep. It's not particularly fast-moving, but there's plenty of debris in the flood waters. You could risk a crossing, but it's going to be hazardous, and you'll need to lighten the load on the mules before they will make it across. South the stream meets up with the larger river, north is not well known.
This is the party's current locale (they're in hex 41,49):